InsightsPOSTED February 11, 2019

Crystal Ball 2019: PR vs “PR” – Explain that to me again?

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Man at window thinking

With 2019 ramping up, expect new trends throughout the news, social media, technology and more. At APEX and ruckus digital we will be sharing our predictions on some of these trends that we think will define 2019 (or at least part of it).

Anne Locke, Vice President at APEX PR, shares her view on the PR industry and how people will understand what we really do!

After more than a decade working in public relations, my colleagues and I often joke about explaining what we do to others. Our parents don’t understand. Friends fake getting it. And it stings. The communications industry has a bit of a PR problem.

In 2019, my hope is that we’ll start to see the industry own what we do and showcase the importance of our work.

Fellow marketers with other specializations are the best place to start.  A recent conference on integrated communications that I attended included a PR section that pronounced the results of a good online video campaign as “PR.” PR isn’t an output, though. It’s a practice.  

We can call ourselves storytellers, of course. The reality is that we understand how to convey a concept. From a media relations perspective, years of pitching media stories (and lots of rejection), help us hone critical reasoning skills.

But don’t be fooled into thinking all we can do is pitch media. We’re creative, too. We think big. We know how brands need to operate and where their target audiences are spending time. We don’t forget that there are dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of potential spokespeople within every organization. We see social media and we love it for the conversation it yields – but also the data. We see the big picture.

Good PR practitioners provide integrated solutions to further real business objectives. We’re not here to (only) get that hit in the paper. We’re here to help brands say what they need to say in the right way, to the right people at the right time.

Maybe we need to do a better job of explaining that.

Anne Locke is a Vice President at APEX Public Relations. Learn more about integrated plans and solutions by visiting our website or emailing us at

Check out more of our Crystal Ball series to know what other trends to expect in 2019.

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